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Author Topic: 8 months of CAIRO (a report).  (Read 11409 times)

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DakotaFloyd

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Re: 8 months of CAIRO (a report).
« Reply #20 on: February 16, 2010, 06:30:04 AM »

who knows

Order more records, become a Friend of PIX, etc.
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Re: 8 months of CAIRO (a report).
« Reply #21 on: February 16, 2010, 09:28:20 AM »

yay punx shows in cairo! i cant wait to buy my building. seriously. lexington carey, and i wanna buy that theatre (and not fall through the floor again)
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Re: 8 months of CAIRO (a report).
« Reply #22 on: February 16, 2010, 10:43:44 AM »

thanks for writing that all out chris...it clarifies a lot.

i would still like to point people who might consider buying a building there to read certain parts of your story though...mainly the parts that a building might be cheap, but the cheaper it is, the more money you'll have to put in to making it livable, and not everyone has parents who can help or a photographer who will pick them as their charity of choice. buying a house is a BIG deal and expensive EVEN IF you have that kind of help.

secondly, i know this is the big argument...it looks like you are keeping things pretty low key, helping people more on an individual level, and trying to get the community involved with its own restoration, which is GOOD. however, if things DO get better on a larger scale, property prices will go up and so will costs of living and taxes for the people who live there. that's how gentrification works...it's not about the intentions of the people who helped or outright ideas about white supremacy or any of that, it's just the sad way that things in the world work. i know you're saying you're not in there to gentrify it, but i'm wondering if you could help clarify a little more how you are planning to avoid that process.

anyway...it looks like you've been putting a lot of good work into this, and i especially think that your providing a place for the kids to hang out is AWESOME and i think jer and i are going to be friends of pix so we'll try to get you that money soon <3
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zachdotcom

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Re: 8 months of CAIRO (a report).
« Reply #23 on: February 16, 2010, 02:13:50 PM »

Sixteen. I watched Iron Man sixteen times. Tony was my only friend.
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Re: 8 months of CAIRO (a report).
« Reply #24 on: February 16, 2010, 02:19:40 PM »

Sixteen. I watched Iron Man sixteen times. Tony was my only friend.

i hope this is the tony starks youre referring to
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graphix

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Re: 8 months of CAIRO (a report).
« Reply #25 on: February 16, 2010, 07:49:31 PM »

thanks for writing that all out chris...it clarifies a lot.

it really does for me too. I had some concerns and you (chris) pretty much cleared them all up. I can still see what bec and jer are saying though, so I feel it will at least be interesting to see how this unfolds.

i'm hoping for nothing but the best for those who have chosen and will choose to move out there and be part of this project / the cairo community.

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beato4

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Re: 8 months of CAIRO (a report).
« Reply #26 on: February 17, 2010, 10:45:15 AM »

Excellent! I hope to make it your way this summer. I wish I could find a projector for y'all.
« Last Edit: February 17, 2010, 10:49:39 AM by beato4 »
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shanholtzer

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Re: 8 months of CAIRO (a report).
« Reply #27 on: February 17, 2010, 01:02:46 PM »

this sounds/looks awesome! i really hope to make it out there sometime in the near future
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ThisIsJake

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Re: 8 months of CAIRO (a report).
« Reply #28 on: February 17, 2010, 05:12:12 PM »

this is awesome!

chris

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Re: 8 months of CAIRO (a report).
« Reply #29 on: February 27, 2010, 07:46:53 PM »

No fund raising is needed. Plan-it-x is the fund raiser already. People also donate money sometimes. It's awesome. When we get donated money we spend it right away on something for the space that everyone can use. We just got some money, so we are gonna buy a projector! at last!-c
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benrains

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Re: 8 months of CAIRO (a report).
« Reply #30 on: February 28, 2010, 08:14:29 AM »

secondly, i know this is the big argument...it looks like you are keeping things pretty low key, helping people more on an individual level, and trying to get the community involved with its own restoration, which is GOOD. however, if things DO get better on a larger scale, property prices will go up and so will costs of living and taxes for the people who live there. that's how gentrification works...it's not about the intentions of the people who helped or outright ideas about white supremacy or any of that, it's just the sad way that things in the world work. i know you're saying you're not in there to gentrify it, but i'm wondering if you could help clarify a little more how you are planning to avoid that process.

To speak (for myself) on the concerns of the potential gentrification of Cairo, while I don't think it's a completely unwarranted thing to worry about that at some point, I would say, in light of the existing problems with the social and economic troubles of the city, it's not one of the more pressing problems, nor will it likely be for a number of years--if at all.

The analogy I'd make is that city of Cairo is like someone that's in the midst of a cardiac arrest.   It's an event that is the natural outcome of years of unhealthy dietary practices, a bad cigarette habit, and a lack of exercise by this individual.   We might look at this same person and come to the conclusion that they're also at risk for diabetes, and that may need to be addressed at the appropriate time, but the most pressing thing, at this point, is to just keep the person alive and to help stabilize their condition.  Addressing the diabetes (or gentrification problem) is only relevant if the patient survives... which is still a highly uncertain outcome at this stage.

Chris has said as much as in his post that they don't really know how to get done what they want to do for Cairo, that they're just figuring it out as they go along as best as they can.  Which, although maybe is a terribly naive thing to do, is still extremely brave and commendable.  I've known Chris for a number of years now, and I've never seen him to take on big projects that didn't seem hopelessly naive to me at the outset.  But then in those years of knowing him I've also never seen Chris fail at any of them--if only because of his own optimism and his ability to muster incredible support from his friends who know how to get shit done.  What Cairo and what Chris, Adrienne, Zach, and Ken need are more people willing to lend a hand.  Defeatist attitudes are counterproductive.

Longer term I'm not sure gentrification, in any significant sense, is going to be a problem there.   There are two main reasons I believe this:

[1] Easily more than half of the available properties in the city are vacant, and it's probably more like two-thirds to three-fourths of them are vacant.  At its peak, the city population was in excess of 15,000 people.  Today less than 3000 people live there, so there's *a lot* of unoccupied housing.   It would take many hundreds, and probably thousands, of people moving there to drive up property values to the point where the taxes would increase substantially for the existing residents.  I don't see how this could happen in the foreseeable future.

[2] Gentrification, at least in all the instances I can think of, is a process that happens in low-income/working class areas that are in close proximity to economically prosperous ones.   Over time, if the economic conditions support it, the adjacent areas with lower value property begin to be encroached upon or "settled" as demand for housing increases in the ranks of the well-off.   This happens in large cities that have vibrant and growing economies (i.e. Chicago, Los Angeles, NYC, San Francisco -- but not someplace like say Detroit which is still in serious decline.)   Cairo is more like Detroit than those other cities... except that it has the additional handicap of being in the middle of fucking nowhere.  There are no jobs there, there are no prospects for any large number of new jobs to come, and there's nowhere prosperous enough nearby that people would migrate from to Cairo to get cheaper housing.   The whole region is suffering badly.  If anything, Cairo is a city from which people actively flee.  The majority of the people living there are those who are too poor to be able to leave, or who are so old and have so much history there that they don't have the heart to leave.
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lovelyseaside

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Re: 8 months of CAIRO (a report).
« Reply #31 on: February 28, 2010, 08:57:04 AM »

everything looks amazing! good work!! i will hopefully be able to visit/donate once i get my job situation figured out :)
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Re: 8 months of CAIRO (a report).
« Reply #32 on: February 28, 2010, 09:07:35 AM »

thanks for the insight, ben...that really does make me feel a lot better about the project. it's the kind of answer i'd been wanting to hear instead of the "we have good intentions, nothing bad can happen" ones i kept getting.

however, if the "defeatist attitude" thing was talking about me, it seems pretty rude and "counterproductive" to try to attribute the failure of projects to people who are concerned about racism/economic issues, as it is a lack of foresight and concern that so often DOES lead to those things actually happening.
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chris

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Re: 8 months of CAIRO (a report).
« Reply #33 on: February 28, 2010, 11:09:18 AM »

Thanks Ben. No offense Becca.
I think anyone who has spent anytime here would understand that people here would be happy to see more people moving here and more business in town.
The city is dying, or arguably, dead.

The local food stamp office is closing. The city offices are downsizing all the time. The sheriff's office cut back it's employees by 75%.  Most people move away when they turn 18.

I think if you ask people here if they would be willing to pay higher property tax in exchange for new businesses and more people in town, they would all say yes. More people living here would mean more money for the city too, in the form of taxes that we all pay, which are included in our power and water bills and sales tax. More active people living here and trying to improve the community would mean more results.

I'm losing my point. Sorry. I just want to say that I truly do not believe that anything we or the rest of the punks/artist/hippies that MIGHT move here someday, will ever do, will ever raise property tax or force anyone out of their neighborhood. In fact, I hope that what we do will encourage people to stay in town. I hope we can play a part in keeping people hopeful that their city will not die.

It's a really unique place and I think you'd have to be here to understand it.

Once again, we did not move here to save cairo. We are just trying to make a rent free life for ourselves and do our tiny part to make things better. Which I feel we are doing a good job of. Kids come in daily and play games. Older ladies come in and browse the books. Boat workers come in a get coffee (most recently a triple espresso) to stay awake on the river. Mothers bring their kids in for craft day. Stuff like that. We're just trying.

-=c

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Re: 8 months of CAIRO (a report).
« Reply #34 on: February 28, 2010, 11:13:30 AM »

Anyone that knows me well enough knows that I'm obsessed with the idea of helping kids out. What if we started a pen pal club? A handful of Cairo kids writing letters to a handful of some of my Milwaukee middle schoolers? Might be a fun way for them to get a look at life outside their bubble and work on their writing skillz. Include some research on each other's communities (like reading a book together as a book club, etc.). I have a donor's choose account as a teacher so a group set of a couple books would be something that could easily get funded. I really want to reach out those loud and energetic preteens you've got there! message me to discuss or IM - sxebandits
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Re: 8 months of CAIRO (a report).
« Reply #35 on: February 28, 2010, 11:29:19 AM »

i could also get middle school penpal stuff together
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Re: 8 months of CAIRO (a report).
« Reply #36 on: February 28, 2010, 12:55:16 PM »

hey, that's a bad idea. badass, that is!

chris

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Re: 8 months of CAIRO (a report).
« Reply #37 on: February 28, 2010, 01:55:47 PM »

That's a great idea.
We have a lot of 10-13 year old kids in here. One of them swears that he has 2 kids of his own and has been to juvi two times. He's funny (wait, he's the one playing drums, look up ^). One time he called someone on his phone and said, "give Jr. a bath", and hung up. I laughed and asked him if he was really trying to get me to believe that he had a kid and he said, "no, my boy is dirty, he needs a bath". He's 12 or 13 years old.

-=c
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Re: 8 months of CAIRO (a report).
« Reply #38 on: February 28, 2010, 02:00:30 PM »

that is very funny and very cute. Also, I think that penpal idea is awesome!
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Re: 8 months of CAIRO (a report).
« Reply #39 on: February 28, 2010, 02:19:06 PM »

haha, there's a kid at work who keeps trying to get me to give him my phone number. when i tell him he's too young (and that it's illegal) he's always like, "but i'm 25!"

i tell him if he's 25 and still in middle school i'm still not interested
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